Archive for September 4th, 2011

September 4, 2011

The Lady of Maine Strikes Again

The Lady of Maine strikes again and will the ides of February doom Obama’s presidency. The stimulus debacle revisited and why its now too late for the president to reverse course.  

(Reposted from 2009 but still very appropriate).

File:Collladna.jpgMaine’s two right wing darlings. There’s an old saying in politics: Be careful what you vote for; you might get it.

Obama signed the stimulus in February of 2009 and may have ended his chances for a second term on that very day. The package was designed to fail from the very beginning and leading the pack that doomed the bill to failure was none other than Olympia Snowe.

The lady of Maine did a remarkable job stonewalling Finance Committee members during negotiations on a stimulus package. She balked and hesitated and balked some more until she was able to engineer a bill so diluted that it was destined to fail.  She wielded her limited power so deftly that she became the central figure in helping to design a weakened stimulus package that Republicans knew beforehand would be inadequate and could not even begin to rouse a multi-trillion dollar economy out of its prolonged slumber.

If I were a Republican leader the task I would have assigned to Snowe was exactly the feat she performed:  To make damn sure any stimulus bill that came out of committee would be so enfeebled that Republicans could proclaim it a bust before the funds were even exhausted.  Then, if at all possible, massage the bill so any job creating potential would begin to peter out just before the elections.  On condition that she deliver this half baked artifice out of committee, the leadership would grant the lady of Maine permission to vote for the bill – which was an absolute necessity anyway if the plot had any chance of success because the strategem needed at least some Republican support to become law.

Snowe was successful beyond her leadership’s wildest dreams. She and the Republicans not only outfoxed Obama and the mental pygmies who advise him.  They crafted a bill that failed on cue.

Here is what Snowe crammed down the Democrats’ throats.  The final bill allotted one third of the funds to tax cuts; another third to the states to apply to unemployment benefits and to stem the flow of public servant layoffs; and last but not least one third was assigned to job creation.  The funds that remained after the worthless tax cuts and the aid to the states and that went into new job creation amounted to some 280 billion dollars – a grievously inadequate sum by all accounts.

So the stimulus that was designed to fail failed just as the Republicans anticipated it would and after which they loudly and proudly proclaimed its failure to a job hungry nation.  The bill, as planned, became an election issue as it began to fizzle on cue a few weeks before the polling date.

Olympia Snowe from the bucolic state of Maine revealed herself to be crafty enough to outwit the city slickers from Chicago and a handful of Ivy League snoots to boot.

The economic Einsteins who advised the president were not only duped by the lady of Maine.  The plan they thought they hatched fell apart at the seams before they even knew they had one. These giants of economic forecasting were full-of-themselves certain that the economy would cycle into recovery and the recession would end in two years like all recessions do; and that jobs would gush forth just in time for voters to go to the polls to elect Democrats; and that voters, now deliriously ecstatic, would do this by majorities so vast that these White House wizards were drooling to swallow anything Snowe shoved at them if only she would agree to something or anything so they could get a bill passed and then loll about for a couple of years waiting for the economy to blossom; and, as anybody with half a brain knows, the recession would end as recessions always do, like ya know, in just about two years.  They could then proclaim their ingenious policy a grand success and wallow in the praise the pundits would heap upon them for wizardry unsurpassed in the annals of economic prognostication.

As we all now know and what the economic Einsteins, now in a self induced stupor, belatedly discovered, they were wrong.

The nation continues to suffer under depression like conditions as the economy worsens, business under-performs and Congress, as always, has its hands tied by Republican obstruction.

Through it all, the lady of Maine can smile unctuously.  For her double-dealing did indeed engineer the perfect economic storm:  an inadequate stimulus package designed to fail on cue right before the election.

And as for Obama, who couldn’t have selected a worse group of economic advisers, he is now left with the shambles he was duped into. Having agreed to a woefully inadequate stimulus package, he must now shoulder the blame for its failure and suffer the consequences as duplicitous Republicans proclaim the president’s entire economic agenda a total bust and accuse him of having failed America.

Because of his grievous miscalculation early in the administration Obama has lost all credibility on the jobs issue. His speech before a joint session, now with John Boehner’s permission, will be of no avail.  The Republicans set the trap to years ago and the president remains firmly in its grasp.

September 4, 2011

The DC Folly Trolley-09/04/11

John Boehner orders Obama to change date of presidential speech before Congress. Obama complies.

File:Obama Boehner State of the Union 2011.jpg

Check back with me a little later, Barack. I’m busy right now. Sincerely, John.

President Obama is still learning what it’s like to take a ride on the DC folly trolley.  You wouldn’t think for all his learning that would be the case. But clearly it is.  The Republicans score a first round knockout against Obama every time. In fact they know before Obama ever steps into the ring that he will throw the fight.

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The GOP doesn’t worry about its poll numbers. As Election Day draws near the propaganda and the lies will permeate the air waves and they’ll win a unanimous decision.

The GOP is concerned only about Obama’s poll numbers. When his are in the dumpster, Republicans are having a good day. So far they’re having a good year.

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When you’re forced to play with spoiled brats its a good idea to get down on the floor with them and take their toys away. They may howl at the punishment but they’ll howl anyway. And on a positive note, there’s a lesson to be learned in that sort of treatment. Unfortunately for America, Obama gives the spoiled brats more toys to play with..

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Here’s a dandy from a management consulting firm called Booz $ Company (no joke). The firm has a report out that advises U S corporations to dump their high seniority, loyal workers because they’re making too much money. That’s right. Work for a company for twenty years, gain a lot of experience, remain loyal and get pay raises along the way and guess what. You outstrip your market value. So if you’re earning twenty bucks an hour and the company can hire someone for twelve, you’re dumpster material. After all the only thing that matters to a corporation is profit. It’s the American way. So long, chump.

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Rick Perry is at it again. Another one of his statements just hit a 10 on the Rickster Scale. Not satisfied with calling for a national sales tax of 30%, Perry is now declaring Social Security and Medicare unconstitutional. He has advocated eliminating both programs. We know Republican candidates are forced to go right wing wacko to appeal to the nineteenth century base but this is beyond the pale. Frightfully, this man means what he is saying.

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Richard Nixon once famously said that when seeking the nod from the GOP convention a candidate has to run to the right. Once he wins the nomination he must make a mad dash back to the center and hope nobody notices the flip-flop. But how does a candidate back away from nut job views when he’s campaigning for the presidency when most everyone has been alerted to the extremism the candidate must now disavow.

I can’t imagine any candidate winning a presidential election on a platform that would destroy Social Security and Medicare and eliminate all forms of taxation and substitute a 30% sales tax on the middle and working classes. Not even Obama has suggested a 30% sales tax. Not yet anyway.

On the other hand this is America and all a 19th century candidate really has to do is appeal to fundie Christians, support Creationism, oppose homosexuality and abortion and suck up to rich people. That gets him at least halfway to election night victory and here Perry scores another 10.

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In view of his harebrained views, I hereby declare Rick Perry unconstitutional. His entire persona is in violation the Ninth Amendment, which states “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”. In short, the people tell Rick Perry what their rights are and not the other way around”. Motion carried: Rick Perry is unconstitutional.

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Michelle Bachmann said that the United States is the “king daddy dog” of natural energy resources. She pointed out the the U S has an abundance of shale oil, natural gas and coal. She blamed “radical environmentalists” for blocking the exploration and extraction of these energy sources.

Here’s a thought: Perhaps it is Robber Baron oil executives who are preventing the extraction of many of these resources. After all the energy companies have hundreds of government contracts that already permit exploration and drilling.

Could there be some reason that the Robber Barons of the industry prefer to leave the resources in the ground? Well, yes, there is a very good reason. If these resources were developed the supply of all forms of energy would increase. Now these Barons are not only greedy and conniving, they are educated as well and are aware of one of the basic tenets of economic theory: As supply increases, price decreases. Let’s do that one more time. As supply increases, price decreases.

Of course, the opposite is also true. Limit supply and price will increase.

And limiting supply is a rather simple matter. Don’t drill. And just in case you were wondering, profits and bonuses increase along with price. Also, just in case you haven’t realized it, you’re being jerked around. By the Robber Barons of the oil industry. And every time you go to a gas pump a crime is being committed. By the Robber Barons of the oil industry and it’s to be expected in any rigged market scenario.

When you add OPEC, which operates a monopoly market, to this equation it is easy to understand that a rigged market is far better at squeezing profits from a captive consumer base than a free market could ever be.

In any case, Michelle is sure to cash in on campaign bounty from these industry captains.